Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Panic at the Greek Diner

It’s here.


A month or two ago, one of the denizens of the Greek diner where I go for coffee and morning research, approached me about her plan to buy into one of the emerging growth funds that everybody was recommending she jump into with both feet.

Being a technician at a local hospital and entirely unfamiliar with stocks or bonds, let alone the countries in which the respective financial instruments are domiciled, she was unsure of only one thing: which emerging country fund to buy as soon as possible.

I told her I was not a stock broker, I did not speculate in foreign country funds, and I did not advise people on what to do. When she persisted in asking my advice, I did the psychologist routine:

She: “Which fund should I buy?”
Me: “Which fund do you want to buy?”
She: “I’m not sure. Which country should I buy?”

Me: “Which country do you want to buy?”

She gave up and went off to the hospital, and I didn’t hear from her again until last week, when she asked me on her way out the door when this foreign market nightmare was going to end. I shrugged and said her guess was as good as mine.

This morning she decided to end her emerging markets nightmare: on her way out the door, she told me she was going to sell out everything.

Time to buy?

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up*

* In today’s case, identities have been altered to save anyone embarrassment.

© 2006 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


Johnny Debacle said...

One should be be buying when everyone else wants to be selling and selling when everyone else wants to be buying.*

*Or not. Depending on the situation.

hundredyearstorm said...

It's funny, we haven't even tested the March low on the EEM yet and people are acting like it's October of '98. Yeah, markets are down 10-20% around the world, but so what? The markets that are correcting the most have been up 100-300% over the last few years. I can't wait to see what happens when we get closer to a true bear market bottom, say 900 on the S&P of 1350 on the NASDAQ. Then it will be time to buy...